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June 05, 2016


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I found your trepidation about going on the trip to S E Asia the exact opposite of what I feel.

I live and work in S E Asia and although I could have retired over 5 years ago, I keep working as I have the fear of being stuck back in a suburban existence in a modern "Western" society.

I don't think anyone could have too many fears about Singapore - I don't think there is a "dive cafe" left in the city - everything there now is so squeaky clean (and generally expensive).

Glad you enjoyed Bali and Lombok. I first went to Bali in 1979, unfortunately, it has now lost most of its charm. I used to think about retiring to Bali but it has now become the rat race that I would be hoping to escape in retirement. About 5 days at a time are now my limit for Bali.

My suggestion is to spend more time travelling and see more places out of your comfort zone - it opens your mind and helps you appreciate what you have.

Retired Syd

Phil: I understand your fears about suburbia. But now maybe you'll have to try that to get out of your comfort zone. It's all relative, isn't it? Next time you're in Singapore try Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice. Not much in the way of ambiance but yummy. Now how do you handle the heat and humidity full-time? That would be a deal killer for me.


Our daughter moved to Singapore in 2011 from NY. I've since been there three times, the most recent time last month (I just wrote a post about it). Our three week visit was marred by my getting sick, and I'm still not 100% although we've been home over a week.

During my last visit I went to Bali and loved it. Abud and Seminyak were my stops, although since I was alone I could have done without the later, which is most definitely a couples place.

We went to Cambodia this time, and I've realized one thing about myself...I don't like 110 degree, humid weather and I don't want to see countless beggars. I guess I'm more of a 'south of France' type of traveler.

Your hesitation about the flight was understandable. It sucks the life out of you, and in my case was most likely how/why I got sick. It will be a very long time before I can be convinced to make that trip again.

Mary Ann

I just love receiving your posts. This one made me chuckle out loud. Thank you, thank you. Keep them coming.


My first thought from reading your post is that I need a friend like Art. Does he lend himself out for planning purposes from time to time?

Beyond your affection for control, and who doesn't like control, I wonder if your reluctance to travel was a residual from grieving your uncle's death. This well-planned, though hot, humid, and sometimes scary trip offered you a chance to be cared for, since the details were managed by others. It also provided an opportunity to connect with others, feel sad at parting with them, and happy about returning home to all home offers. All makings of a good life.

Looking forward to the next trip? Sounds like traveling provided something you needed, something beyond just travel.

Now heading back to reading the last few pages of When Breath Becomes Air, a book I recommend everyone read.


THANKS Syd... That was great!!! I like the title the most!!! Clever...

Sorry to say, I am with you... I just want stay home.. and pull up the dead poppies...and eat the tomatoes!!!

Retired Syd

Gail: Wow, what an amazing observation! I'm pretty good at observing things about myself (and then writing about them on my blog), but I think I totally missed that one. Thank you for that. One more story about the trip. We finished it off by going to Tokyo where my uncle lived for the last several years of his career. We had lunch with my uncle's friend Kazumi. When Kazumi heard my uncle was near the end back in November, he hopped a flight to California and arrived to see my uncle just 5 minutes before he died. Still gives me chills to think about that. So we met him for lunch at the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents Club where my uncle was a past president. I had been there twice with my uncle. The next day we were walking around shopping and I accidentally stumbled upon my uncle's church, Tokyo Union Church. That was pretty much the center of his universe there. I was so excited I wanted to tell him all about it when I got home. It sucks that I can't.

Retired Syd

Phil: By the way, lunch for four was under 12 bucks. You gotta wander away from the glitz a little more--you'll find some little gems.

Doreen: I've never been so hot as I was in Cambodia (and Laos). It's one of those trips that I remember so fondly in retrospect, but I was literally miserable every second of that trip. Bali weather was a lot better, even though it's hot and humid too. And flying, I'm STILL trying to normalize my sleep. Getting plenty of it, just not all at once . . . which I guess isn't really that bad if you are retired. Gotta go read your post now.

Mary Ann: Thank you, thank you!!!!

Sara: And pulling weeds, isn't that glorious! No tomatoes for us yet.


I know exactly what you mean! I get so excited about the concept of traveling but experience such anxiety when the time comes to actually leave. Then, once I get into the trip, I usually have a great time. Then, soooo excited to be home again. It sounds like, overall, you had a great trip that left you with fabulous memories.


I love the details in your first photo! Great post, thank you so much for sharing.


Hi, Syd - I found myself completely relating to your post. I just finished living overseas (Beijing) for fourteen years and have been back home (now retired) for almost one year. Since living back in Canada, we have done some travel. Each time, on the way out of the door, I never want to go. Once there, I always love it. Once back home, that's where I want to be. And then I peruse another travel brochure! Strange cycle.
BTW - Great title!


Your post made me laugh, even as I nodded my head in understanding. I do actually love to travel (as you know), but even I can be guilty of piling it on too thickly from time to time. Actually, if I could teleport to each overseas location, and avoid all jetlag, I'd likely come home only long enough to do the laundry and check on the house. However, since neither long, long plane rides nor jet lag (nor other, 'ahem' adjustments :-) can be avoided, there is definitely a bit of dread added to the mix of my excitement over any upcoming trip.

Fortunately a week at home seems to cure all ailments, and a glutton for punishment, I line up to do it all over again.


I don't blame you for not wanting to eat the whole frog. The legs are delicious but the whole frog I know? I think there's a joke in there some were. Like the chicken and the feather.

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